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What is the Difference Between Medical and Recreational Marijuana?

Recreational marijuana users may recognize some of the benefits of medical marijuana that are promoted as medicinal now. Cannabis has been around for centuries and has a long history of medical use outside of modern American society. The legalization of medical marijuana while recreational use of the drug remains against the law can be confusing when you don’t know the difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

Medical Marijuana

For medicinal purposes, cannabis strains and hybrids are produced to certain specifications. These are not home-grow operations, but rather a highly-sophisticated production system. The plants are tested in independent laboratories to be sure they contain the requisite ratio of THC to CBD. The growing environment is strictly monitored to be sure no foreign chemicals are introduced to the plants. Lighting and watering systems are used to control how the plants are raised. Nothing is left to chance or the environment. When a certain strain is produced, each plant contains the same ingredients. Medical marijuana is then processed into various forms with the same attention to detail. Medical marijuana products are pure, accurately labeled and consistent to allow for careful dosing and repeat performance. Patients choose medical marijuana products on the advice of a doctor who knows how each strain will affect the body. Patients use medical marijuana to take advantage of certain properties that are bred into the strains they use. Medical marijuana use is as carefully measured and monitored as any other medicine.

Recreational Marijuana

People who use recreational marijuana do so for fun — not to reap specific health benefits. Their products are often homegrown and not tested for content or purity of strain. Recreational marijuana users do not have to use marijuana. They do it because they want to. Most recreational marijuana is smoked because the ritual is part of the experience. Smoking recreational marijuana is often a social experience shared among friends. The strains of marijuana used for recreational purposes are more broad-spectrum varieties. For decades, the effects of THC were seen as the main value in marijuana. Recreational marijuana is higher in THC than CBD because of its psychoactive properties. Recreational marijuana use can be compared to alcohol use. People enjoy the effects of it, so they use it as a celebration or to improve their mood or self-medicate for other purposes. Recreational use of marijuana, alcohol or any other drug can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Recreational drug use can hide the symptoms and prevent a proper diagnosis. In most states, it is not legal to buy or use marijuana for recreational purposes. You cannot buy recreational marijuana at a licensed medical marijuana dispensary. If you are a recreational marijuana user and think you may have a medical need, start by using our online application to see if you qualify for medical marijuana.


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